For seven years, Jason Garrett wore the blue star on the side of his helmet as a backup quarterback for the Cowboys. It meant a lot to him.
So now that he's the team's head coach, Garrett isn't going to simply give the emblem away. In addition to redecorating the Valley Ranch facility to better convey the history of the Cowboys to players, he is insisting they take on an appreciation for the star.
Like Bill Parcells before him, Garrett has had the team's equipment staff take the star decal off the helmet of every rookie. Additionally, the first-year players are not wearing the same pants as the veterans in practice, instead donning the white throwback pants with blue piping down the side.
"The star is very important to us," Garrett explained on Monday. "The star is an international symbol. It's the Dallas football Cowboys. And the players hear me say that a lot. The star means something. This team has been around now for 51 years, we've got a great tradition here, and you have to earn the right to wear that star.
"We're very clear with the players about that. Just because you signed with the Dallas Cowboys doesn't mean you've earned it yet. So the veteran players have them on, the young players do not have them on - hopefully at some point they'll do the things necessary to earn that star on the side of their helmet."